Aussie cop’s girl faces firing squad

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 06 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Arrested in China ... Kalynda Davis is accused of trying to smuggle methamphetamine. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

UP to nine Australians now face the prospect of being executed by firing squads in China prisons for drug offences, following the arrests of Sydneysiders Kalynda Davis, 22, and Peter Gardner, 25 in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou.

The pair were the latest to be busted trying to smuggle methamphetamine, also known as "ice" and "crystal", into Australia from China's drugs hub as part an intensifying national anti-narcotics sweep by the administration of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The couple, from the western Sydney suburbs of Penrith and Richmond, were allegedly attempting to smuggle 75kg of the drug; now they face a minimum of life imprisonment and probably death, according to Chinese lawyers who spoke to News Corp Australia.

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Wang Jinhe, a lawyer in Guangzhou who has represented several cases involved with drug trafficking, said: "76kg of drugs, in my legal career of 15 years, is an extremely high amount, record breaking to my knowledge. I'm representing a case with an African accused of drug trafficking for of 60kg and I am afraid none of them can escape death penalty."

In happier times ... Kalynda Davis from Sydney who has been arrested in China. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Methamphetamine has emerged in recent years as the region's No. 1 drug scourge and its tentacles are fast spreading into Australia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is offering consular assistance to Davis, Gardner and seven other Australians accused of drug smuggling, all of whom are now languishing in harsh Chinese detention centres. But DFAT would offer no further comment nor would the Guangzhou police.

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It remains unclear whether the pair have been charged yet, but the process to a trial can take as long as a year in system that has a conviction rate of over 99 per cent, according to Chinese government statistics. Detainees are effectively guilty until proven innocent.

Behind bars ... Peter Gardner, of Sydney, who was also arrested. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

In September, the Federal government warned about the possibility of a death sentence for drug trafficking after a string of Australian arrests. In the past 12 months the Chinese government has mounted a major anti-drugs program across the country known as Operation Thunder.

"Keeping high pressure on drug traffic is a long-term policy in China, it is not a temporary campaign," Mr Wang said.

"With more foreigners in China, there is an increase in foreigners found drug trafficking too."

But even a far smaller amount could see offenders face bullets to the head, Xie Yanyi, a lawyer in Beijing told News Corp Australia.

"Trafficking of drugs (including meth and heroin) of more than fifty grams could lead to (a) death sentence."

Concerned friends ... a Facebook post about Kalynda Davis, before she was arrested. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

Unlike other charges relating to business deals, which have proven controversial for some Australians sentenced to prison on China, drug cases are relatively cut and dried Mr Xie said.

"And China is taking tougher stance against drug trafficking, since it is a universal crime in any legal system, facts are relatively easy to confirm, and there is less possibility of political or ideological interpretations to such cases," he added.

Until they are officially charged, the families of Davis and Gardner must apply for special permission to see them, Mr Xie said. And even after charges are laid and sentences handed down, they will only receive one visit from family each month. That will remain the same if they escape death, for the rest of their lives, he added.

Grim future ... their alleged crime carries fatal consequences. Source: Supplied

Guangzhou's position in the far south of China means it is the biggest city on the Chinese coast close Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle, with major air and sealinks via the nearby ports of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Chinese gangs also manufacture huge quantities of the drug as well as having connections to notorious Mexican drug cartels.

Chinese authorities have few qualms about executing foreigners for drug offences. In July two Ugandans were executed. A number of Africans, who are prominent in on-the-street drug dealing in big Chinese cities are understood to be on death row. In 2010 four Japanese were shot after being found guilty of drug offences.

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